FLIP(L): the pseudo‐caspase

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Possessing structural homology with their active enzyme counterparts but lacking catalytic activity, pseudo-enzymes have been identified for all major enzyme groups. Caspases are a family of cysteine-dependent aspartate-directed proteases that play essential roles in regulating cell death and inflammation. Here, we discuss the only human pseudo-caspase, FLIP(L), a paralog of the apoptosis initiating caspases, caspase-8 and caspase-10. FLIP(L) has been shown to play a key role in regulating the processing and activity of caspase-8, thereby modulating apoptotic signalling mediated by death receptors (such as TRAIL-R1/R2), TNF receptor-1 (TNFR1) and toll-like receptors (TLRs). In this review, these canonical roles of FLIP(L) are discussed. Additionally, a range of non-classical pseudo-enzyme roles are described, in which FLIP(L) functions independently of caspase-8. These non-classical pseudo-enzyme functions enable FLIP(L) to play key roles in the regulation of a wide range of biological processes beyond its canonical roles as a modulator of cell death.

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Original languageEnglish
JournalFEBS journal
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2020


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